Shelf Candy Saturday (17): Play by Play Series by Jaci Burton

Shelf Candy Saturday is hosted by Five Alarm Book Reviews.
This week is part three of a three part shelf candy special! I will be showcasing.....wait for it....eye candy!! If you missed them, here's links to Part One and Part Two
Enjoy :)

The Perfect Play (Play by Play #1)

Football pro Mick Riley is an all-star, both on the field and in the bedroom. But a sexy, determinedly single mom just might be the one to throw him off his game...

For years Mick has been taking full advantage of the life available to a pro athlete: fame, fortune, and a different girl in every city. But when he meets the beds confident, beautiful event planner Tara Lincoln, he wants much more than the typical one-night stand. Too bad Tara's not interested in getting to know football's most notorious playboy any better.

As the single mother of a teenage son, the last thing Tara needs is the jet-set lifestyle of Mick Riley; even though their steamy and passionate one-night stand was unforgettable. Tara's life is complicated enoough without bein thrust into the spotlight as Mick's latest girl du jour. Tara played the game of love once and lost big, and she doens't intend to put herself out there agian, especially with a heartbreaker like Mick.

But when Mick sets his mind to win, nothing will stop him. And he has the perfect play in mind.

Changing the Game (Play by Play #2)
Taking a Shot (Play by Play #3)
Playing to Win (Play by Play #4)
Thrown by a Curve (Play by Play #5)

 Jaci Burton's Website

Vampire Vintage by Ashlyn Chase

Maura Keegan, addicted to vampire romance novels, decides to add a gothic section to her vintage clothing store in SoHo. What better way to get a tax-deductible trip to Romania-and meet her future vampire mate? Adrian, a sexy vampire living right under her nose in New York, owns a vineyard in France producing very special wine for exclusive clients. It allows him and others like him to walk in daylight and avoid snacking on strangers. He’s horrified to learn that the redhead he admires is planning to visit Romania to summon a “real” vampire. Adrian has every intention of being that vampire. Only trouble is, she thinks he’s a wino tourist intent on spoiling her fun. A visit to his wacky Romanian family night might help convince her he’s for real, or send her screaming into the night.

My Review:

The first half of the book was just ok for me and although it is a unique storyline I was expecting more pizazz. Things just happened too easily when I almost wanted to make both Maura and Adrian to have to work harder to get what they wanted. Based on the summary, I also thought that Maura’s journey would take up most of the book but everything in the summary happened by about the half way mark.

I ended up taking a break from this book at 57% (thank you Kindle app for that precise percentage). I read four books before I decided that I was ready to come back to Vampire Vintage. I did enjoy the second half more; it was a bit more interesting and there was even some action to hold my attention. I'm glad that I decided to finish it.
Overall Rating: 3 out of 5

Shelf Candy Saturday (16): The Night Series by Lisa Kessler

Shelf Candy Saturday is hosted by Five Alarm Book Reviews.

This week is part two of a three part shelf candy special! I will be showcasing.....wait for it....eye candy!!  If you missed the goodness that was Part One, you can check it out here. Enjoy :)

Night Walker (The Night Series #1)

He gave up his soul for a second chance to love her...

Two and a half centuries ago, Calisto Terana lost everything when a priest murdered the woman he loved. Now, desperate for another chance to love her, he wants redemption for the mistake that cost her life.

She's haunted by dreams of her own death...

After catching her fiance with another woman, Kate Bradley returns to San Diego to clear her head. The last thing she needs is romance, but after meeting Calisto she's drawn to him in ways she doesn't understand.

They've waited in the shadows for centuries...

Calisto has no doubt Kate is the reincarnation of his lost love, but the Fraternidad Del Fuego Santo has a new watcher with dark ambitions of his own. As old enemies reemerge and a new threat arises, the betrayal that enslaved Calisto to the night might destroy the only woman he's ever loved again.

Night Demon (The Night Series #2)

I don't think I really need to explain why I love these covers because they're sssmokin'! 

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

Beth and Jennifer know their company monitors their office e-mail. But the women still spend all day sending each other messages, gossiping about their coworkers at the newspaper and baring their personal lives like an open book. Jennifer tells Beth everything she can’t seem to tell her husband about her anxieties over starting a family. And Beth tells Jennifer everything, period.

When Lincoln applied to be an Internet security officer, he hardly imagined he’d be sifting through other people’s inboxes like some sort of electronic Peeping Tom. Lincoln is supposed to turn people in for misusing company e-mail, but he can’t quite bring himself to crack down on Beth and Jennifer. He can’t help but be entertained and captivated by their stories.

But by the time Lincoln realizes he’s falling for Beth, it’s way too late for him to ever introduce himself. What would he say to her? “Hi, I’m the guy who reads your email, and also, I love you.” After a series of close encounters and missed connections, Lincoln decides it’s time to muster the courage to follow his heart…even if he can’t see exactly where it’s leading him.

Written with whip-smart precision and charm, Attachments is a strikingly clever and deeply romantic debut about falling in love with the person who makes you feel like the best version of yourself. Even if it’s someone you’ve never met.

My Review:

This book was middle of the road for me. I liked getting to know the characters and the idea of falling in love with someone by reading their emails is interesting. But (yes, there has to be a but) the story unravels at too slow of a pace. I just wanted more, not more book but more…I don’t know, excitement? Romance? I wanted more of the ‘close encounters’ between Lincoln and Beth…I just wanted more.

Overall Rating:  3.5 out of 5

Pretty Amy by Lisa Burstein

Amy is fine living in the shadows of beautiful Lila and uber-cool Cassie, because at least she’s somewhat beautiful and uber-cool by association. But when their dates stand them up for prom, and the girls take matters into their own hands – earning them a night in jail outfitted in satin, stilettos, and Spanx – Amy discovers even a prom spent in handcuffs might be better than the humiliating “rehabilitation techniques” now filling up her summer. Worse, with Lila and Cassie parentally banned, Amy feels like she has nothing – like she is nothing.

Navigating unlikely alliances with her new coworker, two very different boys, and possibly even her parents, Amy struggles to decide if it’s worth being a best friend when it makes you a public enemy. Bringing readers on an often hilarious and heartwarming journey, Amy finds that maybe getting a life only happens once you think your life is over.

My Review:

Just a quick warning, this review may be a bit more harsh than needed. Don’t let it stop you from reading this book though because a lot of people loved it and you may too. Now, with that out of the way…

I really wanted to love this book but in the end it left me depressed and disappointed. For me, there was no ‘often hilarious and heartwarming journey’ like it says in the description.

Amy is a classic follower, she does anything just so her ‘friends’ will like and accept her. Fine, I get that it’s sometimes like that but she has no growth throughout the book. Even after they get into trouble and she’s facing possible jail time she doesn’t change. It was so frustrating to me that I couldn’t feel for her; I wanted her to have moments of realization or touching moments where she let someone in just a little. But she was just a flat and monotone character and really I didn’t like any of the characters except for Amy’s dad.

I could go on and on, but I think I’ve done enough damage. I hope you all enjoy it more than I did if you decide to read it.

Overall Rating: 2.5 out of 5

Shelf Candy Saturday (15) Rising Star Chef Series by Louisa Edwards

Shelf Candy Saturday is hosted by Five Alarm Book Reviews.

This week is part one of a two (or three) part shelf candy special! I will be showcasing.....wait for it....eye candy!! Enjoy :)

Rising Star Chef Series by Louisa Edwards

Too Hot to Touch (Rising Star Chef #1)
When it comes to competitive cooking, Max Lunden is no stranger to winning…though he’s never been great at working with a team. A master chef—and major hunk—he’s traveled the world, picking up new cooking techniques as well as beautiful women. But when the prodigal chef returns home to his family’s Greenwich Village restaurant, he discovers one too many cooks in the kitchen—and she’s every bit as passionate as he is…

Juliet Cavanaugh used to have a crush on Max when she was just a teenager, hanging out at Lunden & Sons Tavern, hoping to catch a glimpse of the owner’s oldest, and hottest, son. Now a chef herself—competing in the biggest culinary contest in the country—Juliet will be cooking side by side with the one man she’s always admired…and desired. But despite their simmering attraction, Juliet is determined to keep her cool—no matter how hot it gets…

 Some Like it Hot (Rising Star Chef #2)
Hot Under Pressure (Rising Star Chef #3)

What to say, what to about YOWZA!! Haha! These covers are definitely appropriate for the heat waves we've been having in parts of the US. The forcast for this post is two hot fronts and a steamy side!

Aaaaanyway, I like the title fonts and the cooking aspects of each cover; both really tie the books together as a series. And I have to add in that I've read Too Hot to Touch and I loved it so I definitely recommend it to anyone who likes contemporary romance...and a little heat in the kitchen.

This month's Swag Bag winner is....

Amy K.

Congrats Amy! You will be getting the below swag :)

Shelf Candy Saturday (14): The Taker and The Reckoning by Alma Katsu

Shelf Candy Saturday is hosted by Five Alarm Book Reviews.

The Taker (The Taker Trilogy #1)

True love can last an eternity...but immortality comes at a price. On the midnight shift at a hospital in rural St. Andrew, Maine, Dr. Luke Findley is expecting a quiet evening. Until a mysterious woman arrives in his ER, escorted by police - Lanore McIlvrae is a murder suspect - and Luke is inexplicably drawn to her. As Lanny tells him her story, an impassioned account of love and betrayal that transcends time and mortality, she changes his life forever...At the turn of the nineteenth century, when St. Andrew was a Puritan settlement, Lanny was consumed as a chile by her love for the son of the town's founder, and she will to anything to be with him forever. But the price she pays is steep - an immortal bond that chains her to a terrible fate for eternity.

The Reckoning (The Taker Trilogy #2)

Lanore McIlvrae is the kind of woman who will do anything for love. Including imprisoning the man who loves her behind a wall of brick and stone.

She had no choice but to entomb Adair, her nemesis, to save Jonathan, the boy she grew up with the remote Maine town in the early 1800's and the man she thought she would be with forever. But Adair had other plans for her. He used his mysterious, otherworldly pwoers to give her eternal life, but Lanore learned too late that there was a price for this gift: to spend eternity with him. And though he is handsome and charming, behind Adair's seductive facade is the stuff of nightmares. He is a monster in the flesh, and he wants Lanore to love him for all of time.

Now, two hundred years after imprisoning Adair, Lanore is trying to atone for her sins. She has given away the treasures she's collected over her many lifetimes in order to purge her past and clear the way for a future with her new lover, Luke Findley. But, while viewing these items at an exhibit at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, Lanore suddenly is aware that the thing she's been dreading for two hundred years has caught up to her: Adair has escaped his prison. He's free - and he will come looking for her. And she has no idea how she will save herself.

I absolutely love both of these covers the colors are bold and both covers are delicate yet powerful!

The Resurrection - Part One (novella) by Megan Hart

When a series of freak storms sweep across the world, they leave behind something more than devastation. First come the swift-growing flowers, smelling like heaven and dying as quickly as they bloom. Next comes the infestation as the flowers breed and multiply inside their hosts. After that, chaos, mayhem and death.

And after that…resurrection.

My Review:

I went to a Megan Hart book signing this past weekend and she recommended trying this series of novella’s. They are horror novellas centering around zombies. I never read the description, I just read Part One based on that and I was left a little confused. I’m assuming as you read the other novellas you’ll get into horror/zombie aspects but the first had neither. I did like the novella but was still a little disappointed since I was looking for horror only to find a bit of a romance, some destruction, and a brief mention of the mystery flowers. I plan on reading the Part Two novella because I’m still holding out hope for some blood and gore :)

Overall Rating: 3.5 out of 5

The Ghost and the Goth (Ghost and the Goth #1) by Stacey Kade

Goodreads Summary:

Alona Dare-Senior in high school, co-captain of the cheerleading squad, Homecoming Queen three years in a row, voted most likely to marry a movie star…and newly dead.

I’m the girl you hated in high school. Is it my fault I was born with it all-good looks, silky blond hair, a hot bod, and a keen sense of what everyone else should not be wearing? But my life isn’t perfect, especially since I died. Run over by a bus of band geeks – is there anything more humiliating? As it turns out, yes – watching your boyfriend and friends move on with life, only days after your funeral. And you wouldn’t believe what they’re saying about me now that they think I can’t hear them. To top it off, I’m starting to disappear, flickering in and out of existence. I don’t know where I go when I’m gone, but it’s not good. Where is that freaking white light already?

Will Killian-Senior in high school, outcast, dubbed “Will Kill” by the popular crowd for the unearthly aura around him, voted most likely to rob a bank…and a ghost talker.

I can see, hear, and touch the dead. Unfortunately, they can also see, hear, and touch me. Yean, because surviving high school isn’t hard enough already. I’ve done my best to hide my “gift”. After all, my dad, who shared my ability, killed himself because of it when I was fifteen. But lately, pretending to be normal has gotten a lot harder. A new ghost – an anonymous, seething cloud of negative energy with the capacity to throw me around – is pursuing me with a vengeance. My mom, who knows nothing about what I can do, is worrying about the increase in odd incidents, my shrink is tossing around terms like “temporary confinement for psychiatric evaluation,” and my principal, who thinks I’m a disruption and a faker, is searching for every way possible to get rid of me. How many weeks until graduation?

My Review:

Normally I’m not one to care about the narration as long as the book is well written. But I have to say that I did really enjoy the alternating first person narrative in this book. It allowed you to get to know both main characters better.

I’m sure you can guess at least a little of the story based on the description…ghost and ghost talker, cheerleader/prom queen and outcast. Will can see and hear ghosts and he makes the mistake of laughing at the newly dead Alona. It doesn’t take her long to realize she can talk to him and he can hear her. This, of course, creates a small landslide of other issues. Can they stand to be around each other long enough to help each other out?

This is a cute book and a quick read and I’m looking forward to seeing what happens in the next book.

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5

Sunday Swag Bag #3

It's time again for my Sunday Swag Bag giveaway!!

I have a lot of swag that I've been wanting to pass along. Some of it is duplicates from what's in my personal collection and some of it's from books or genre's that I don't think I'll read. So I've been trying to think of a way to give it to other swag lovers. That's where Sunday Swag Bag comes in.

I will post a contest on the first Sunday of every month until the swag bag is empty. Each contest will be open for a week. Then I will do a post on the second Sunday of every month where I announce the winner and I will blindly grab anywhere from 4-5 pieces out of my swag bag. It's luck of the draw for the winner but there's a lot of really awesome swag so don't miss out!

Are you curious what's at stake? Well here's an updated picture of the swag in the swag bag. Most of it is not signed but there's about 5 pieces that are.

This week's contest is open until Saturday, July 7th at 11:59 pm (EST).

Contest is open internationally.

To enter just fill out your name/email in the form below.